Farmers in India are using the remains of their mustard plant harvests to generate electricity.
Project goal: produce electricity in India from crop waste Project size: around 5,000 farmers produce around 90,000 tons of biomass a year Backing: 500,000 euros (around $654,000) a year by the NGO atmosfair CO2 reduction: 36,000 tons
In the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan, farmers used to burn off crop waste that was left over after harvesting mustard plants. But these days, the stems and leaves that were once considered trash have become a sort of treasure: they provide a supplemental source of income and an eco-friendly way to generate energy. Instead of relying on charcoal, electricity providers simply burn the crop waste, generating about 8 megawatts of green energy. That’s enough to power some 40,000 rural homes. And that’s not all: the remaining ash is formed into bricks to be used as fertilizer on the very fields where mustard plants grow – completing the circle.